Contactless payments have continued to enjoy a period of significant growth, something that has transcended to the Nordic region. 

According to new research by nets, the contactless payment ratio has grown from around 57 per cent in early January to 75 per cent of all in-store card payments in late October this year.

It comes as contactless payments have continued to be encouraged by health authorities and merchants to limit physical contact among consumers during the pandemic. The result has been that behavioural changes anticipated to take years have happened in mere months.

In Norway and Denmark, the governments imposed strong restrictions on social activities from late March, leading to a surge in contactless payments across shops and restaurants. 

In Norway in January 2020, only 35 per cent of payments were made contactless; by late October, it had more than doubled to 77 per cent – overtaking Sweden and Finland in the process. During just one week of the Norwegian lockdown, the share of contactless payments jumped six points.

In Sweden, a less restrictive path to fight the pandemic was embarked on, the use of contactless payment has shown steadier growth during the year, rising from 44 per cent in January to 60 per cent of all in-store card payments by late October.

Denmark is leading the pack with around 86 per cent of all card payments in physical shops made contactlessly in the last week of October. Norway is second with a share of 77 per cent, with Finland third at 70 per cent.